Posters appear in Moscow accusing famous Swedes of supporting Nazism

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May 6 (Reuters) – Posters accusing some of the most famous Swedes of the 20th century of supporting Nazism have appeared on the streets of Moscow, a sign of the deterioration of relations between Russia and Sweden as the Nordic country plans to join NATO.

Outside the Swedish Embassy, ​​two posters posted at a bus stop featured photographs of Swedish King Gustaf V, writer Astrid Lindgren, director Ingmar Bergman and IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, and the message: “We are against Nazism, they are not”.

Reuters saw a third poster featuring the Swedish figures, all of whom are deceased, on a main thoroughfare in central Moscow.

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Asked about the posters, the Swedish Foreign Ministry’s press office said in a statement: “Sweden has no intention of engaging in public controversy with the Russian organization ‘Our Victory’, which would be the origin of these posters.”

“In Russia, charges of ‘Nazism’ have repeatedly been leveled against countries and individuals who voice justified criticism of Russia’s actions,” he added.

The Russian Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Three Moscow commuters at the embassy bus stop told Reuters they were in favor of the anti-Swedish posters.

“I think the posters are timely in light of recent events,” said Alexandra, 47. “If Europeans see themselves as democratic countries, then I think it’s quite democratic to express an alternative point of view and show people a different opinion.”

Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its February 24 invasion of Ukraine have prompted Sweden and its neighbor Finland to rethink their security policies as NATO membership becomes increasingly likely. .

Sweden’s defense minister said last month that a NATO bid could trigger a number of responses from Russia, including cyberattacks and hybrid measures such as propaganda campaigns.

Moscow says its military campaign in Ukraine is designed to demilitarize and “denazify” the country, which kyiv and the West have dismissed as a baseless pretext for waging an unprovoked war of aggression against a sovereign democratic state.

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Reuters Editing reporting by Gareth Jones

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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